Home Cinematography The Master Collection of Filmmaking Apps

The Master Collection of Filmmaking Apps

written by Shane Hurlbut, ASC

I have put together a few articles in the past about Apps and what tools to use. I want to introduce you to some new ones I have been using, as well as some tried and true apps that I have talked about before. These are always on my phone and at my side ready to get me rolling. This will be your “Master” list of some of the best Apps out there today.

1) FilmTouch – $9.99
I learned of this app from an AD friend who has been using it for at least 2-3 years. The app allows you to open up your PDF call sheets that have the contact info of the crew and then import that PDF, saving it within the App and allowing you to click and contact members of the crew. You can even save their information right to your phone.

One area that I really liked is how you can search and say, “there was that Beer commercial I did 10 years ago,” then search that commercial and then BAM, call sheet pops up.

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2) Film Production Terms – $0.99
This is a glossary of terms for the film world. For those of you starting out, this is a great way to study up before your first shoot. Perhaps you are relocating to a new area and you get on set and you keep hearing a term you’ve never heard of, this is a way to find out at lunch what everyone is talking about, if you’re a little shy in asking, that is.
FilmProductionTerms FilmProducitonTerms2

3) SyncOnSet – Free
The idea behind this app is that everyone has access to the material as a group, similar to Google Drive. This one seems almost too good to be true. It allows each department to upload images for reference, delegate who is doing what, etc.

How To Use The Mobile App from SyncOnSet on Vimeo.

4) Room Scan Pro – $4.99
This allows you to scan the room by setting the parameters of walls and windows in the app. Then the app draws the layout of the room. Pretty genius for filmmakers if you need something a little more specific to share.

5) Shot Lister – $13.99
Most of you maybe have built or looked at a shot list before on a piece of paper and had to scribble all over it when you have made changes. This app is designed to make things more digitized and cleaner. Check it out.

6) Hyperlapse for Instagram – Free
All of those videos that I have been posting to my Instagram account are shot with Hyperlapse. Hyperlapse not only creates quick time lapse videos, but if you change the duration back to 1x, your video will be stabilized and it will keep the audio.

7) Green Screener – $9.99
Green Screener is a great way to see if your GS or background is evenly lit. It will show you the underlit or overlit areas. Similar to false color on a monitor but only $9.99.


8) Foolcontrol – $149.99
This app lets you control the RED Weapon, Scarlet-W or Raven via your iPhone, iPad or iPod. You can even control focus on a Canon lens on the active mount. Just take a look!

Or you can try it with Foolcontrol-r which just allows you to start/stop the camera and review the last clip for $4.99


9) Cameras + Formats – $4.99
This is one of my favorites.  It has every single piece of information for nearly every single camera on the market today.  Comparing recording formats between cameras has never been easier.  It’s worth the $5 spend easily.


10) Cinemeter II – $24.99
This is a great introduction to using a Light Meter.  It’s also a great backup if your meter battery has died or if you left it at home!

Meter1 Meter2

11) Frame.io – Free
Many of you are learning about Frame.io and my team learned about it this year. We jumped on board and haven’t looked back. My team wrote an article about how we have put Frame.io into action on collaborating on Inner Circle content while I am on the road.  This is a great way to upload your edits for clients and have them give you direct feedback, they can type in directly on top of the time on the video where they want to add a note and so much more.

Collaboration with Frame.io – Hurlbut Visuals

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12) Donna – Free
The idea behind this app is to make you a pro with the RED Camera interface before you even touch the camera. The Donna app gives you hands on access to all of RED’s camera workflows, latest firmware builds and a lot more.


13) Cadrage Director’s Viewfinder – $12.99
A very similar app to the Artemis Director’s Viewfinder but it is a little cheaper. This app allows for more interaction as far as uploading to Dropbox, saving metadata to your images like GPS of your location, focal length you have chosen, etc. You have the ability to create and share PDF Shot lists from your phone. This is a pretty powerful app.

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14) Musicbed – Free
The playlists on Musicbed have come in quite handy for events that Hurlbut Visuals has hosted. We fire up an iPhone, connect it to our speakers and set different playlists and we’re able to play music that has a different vibe to it compared to today’s popular hits! Plus there’s no advertising that interferes with the music. My team and I use it quite often while we are in the car or sitting in the office and we are looking to find new tracks for our edits. It’s simple to hear a song and then click “favorite” and then come back to it later.

Musicbed App: Inspiration on the Go from Musicbed on Vimeo.

15) Celtx Shots – Free
I cannot stress enough how important storyboarding your work is. Spending the time to sit down and visualize how the flow of your piece is going to be will help you in lots of areas. Storyboarding is tough to get a flow with when you are starting out. I think this app will be a tremendous help to all of you out there looking to take your projects to the next level and get more organized.

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16) SignEasy – Free
This one is pretty simple. How many times have you been on set or before a job you get an NDA and you need to sign the PDF? You have to get to a printer, print out the page, scan it back in, which is fine if you haven’t forgotten to replace your ink cartridge! HA HA. This app will allow you to sign documents directly from your phone and then email them back to production.

17) TechScout Touch, Lighting Edition – Free
LiteGear has a great app that allows you to build out a lighting order with lots of fixtures. You can get an idea of what other movies and commercials used on their projects with some of the pre-made lighting lists within the app. It allows you to create a simple, easy to read list of equipment and then share it with your team. A big plus is not having to remember what all of the extra parts and pieces come with different fixtures, since it is all right there. This would be a great way to learn as an Electrician coming up in the business.


18) Google Street View – Free
Google has pretty much mapped the world for us and it’s quite often that you will need to find a location and you won’t know what that location could look like for you. Google Street View can give you a chance to virtually go to the location and walk around in 360 degrees to see everything around you. I use it all the time when I start learning about locations for a project, so I can get a sense of what will be around me when I land in that area.

19) Freefly MoVi – Free
If you haven’t seen the latest update to the MoVi app, then download this now. The latest firmware to the MoVi adds increased stabilization and the new app really hones in on giving you the most powerful performance and control out of your system. You now have the ability to set key-frames to repeat shots for time lapse and a small Motion Control setup.


20) Dragon Scales – Free
Having the ability to check frame rates, pixel counts, etc on a RED system is incredibly helpful for DITs and Camera Assistants. There are many times on set that I am dialing in the correct setup to make sure that we are maximizing our image for control in post production.

DS1 DS2Share some of your favorite apps in the comments section below!

See 13 Power iPhone Apps for Filmmakers >>

See Director/Cameraman Package for Scouting Locations + Scouting Apps >>

See Filmmaking Apps for Your Smartphone >>

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Lee Israel September 6, 2016 at 12:41 AM

What a great list, thanks for sharing! I hadn’t heard of the “Cameras + Formats” app before but I just bought it based on your recommendation and it’s very useful!

RR September 7, 2016 at 2:18 PM

Just to save some of us Android users some time..are these all iOS only?

Jan Klima November 8, 2016 at 10:13 AM

Yeah these are for iOS only… Would be great to know some more for Android. I am using Sun Seeker for sun path when shooting outside, Colour Wheel for color space and combinations like complementary or analogic, Shot Designer is a wonderful app for storyboards, DoF for sharpness (used to be a great app there called Acacia but its gone now – old and not being updated anymore), Celtx is for Android too and pocket softbox for white balance….

Zak Ray January 7, 2017 at 1:48 PM

Thank you Shane for including “Cameras + Formats”! I’d love to hear any further thoughts you have on it, feel free to email me at [email protected] if you’d like to discuss it in any way!

Zach April 17, 2017 at 10:25 PM

To those of you asking which ones are available on Android – Shot Lister is also available on Android/Google Play and if you’re a Pro subscription user, your Pro account works across platforms


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